Family Home Destroyed in Thanksgiving Day Fire - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/28/05

Family Home Destroyed in Thanksgiving Day Fire

What was supposed to be a joyous holiday for one Metter family turned tragic. A reverend, his wife, and their five children watched as fire destroyed their home on Thanksgiving Day.

The family was actually at a Thanksgiving meal, serving others at their church, the Grace and Truth Church, just five miles from their home, when a call came in the Rhodes house was up in flames.

"This is what's left," said Brenda Rhodes, looking at the ruins of her home. "We weren't able to save anything."

The charred outline of the Rhodeses' home barely tells the tale of heartache this family felt when they drove up and found their house engulfed in flames.

"It was devastating, just devastating," Brenda said.

Their lives, cherished gifts, children's pictures--all gone in an instant. The only items to survive the fire were the family's bibles, the pages charred, but still readable.

Although strong in her faith, the sight of the burned-out home is just too much for Brenda to bear. "It's hard to look at. We put a lot of time and heart in to this house."

"I tell her we are here for her," said Angel Mixon, Brenda's sister. "The Lord will make a way."

The family home is completely destroyed and will have to be demolished. Right now the Rhodeses are living with a relative in a trailer, but with nine kids and four adults now living under one roof, the family is going to have to find somewhere else to stay very soon.

Which may be tough. The fire took everything they had, and with five children to provide for, the Rhodes family is relying on faith to see them through. They know it could have been worse. "I'm just thank God nobody was here, nobody got hurt," said Brenda.

Brenda remains optimistic the family home will rise out of the ashes once again. "I know where there is a will, there is a way. I know the Lord will look out for us," she said. "I can see the kids playing out here again."

Fire investigators did return to the scene earlier today to search for a cause of the fire. But they say it may be days or weeks before they know why the Rhodes home went up in flames.

If you'd like to help the family, a trust fund has been set up for Rev. George and Brenda Rhodes at Metter Bank, in Metter, Georgia. Call 912.685.2265 for more.

Reported by: Melanie Ruberti, mruberti@wtoc.com

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